After sharing lots of skirts (this one and these) I am back with a simple breezy summer-y button-up tank, which I’m sure will get lots of wear this August. This top is one of the many simple garment patterns in Caroline Hulse’s debut sewing book Sew Caroline Weekend Style. The folks at Fons and Porter asked if I would review the book and I knew right away that I wanted to make the button-up tank. The whole book is full of colorful, easy-going patterns from shorts to flip flops and pool totes. The bright, playful style of the book is classic Caroline! (more…)
It’s my opinion that Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross is one of the more lovely sewing books out there and ever since I opened up that beautiful tome I’ve been dying to make the leather bag. I was scared, however, of sewing with leather on my regular machine. And, for that matter, I didn’t know how to go about getting my hands on soft, supple leather. As a result, it took me forever to sew up this buttery yellow bag, which only makes it more wonderful to be able to say VIOLA! It’s my butter yellow leather bag! I mean, look at that scrumptious leather! I finally found it at Denver Fabrics. It’s lined with some of the Pendleton wool left over from my Wiksten dress.
Here is the nitty gritty on this pattern and this bag.
Things I love about this pattern: It’s simple to construct. In true Heather Ross form the pattern is easy and clear. It looks complicated with all the hardware and the little bit of leather at the top in the inside of the bag but it isn’t. Same goes for the side of the bag with the strip of leather, it’s easy to make.
Things I don’t love: The bag is droopy. It looks cool but isn’t really practical for everyday use. I needed to use soft, supple leather so it would sew smoothly on my machine but that makes for a soft, smooshy bag and I like my bags to have more structure. This is especially the case considering all that heavy hardware. When I set this bag down it flops and then clanks when the hardware hits the ground and it sits there looking like a dog toy. The bag strap is too weak & the pattern has you simply tie knots to hold the strap in place. Considering living my life is the equivalent of being inside one of those ‘sturdiness testing’ machines they have out at Ikea (you know the kind that perpetually sucker punch a piece of furniture…of course, mine would need wheels so it could roam), I need bag straps that can hack it in harsh conditions!
Of course, all in all I’m proud of working with leather and doing it on my home machine! I will totally use this bag when I go places with hooks and without my kids.
p.s. this post include affiliate links to Amazon. If you click on them & buy something I get a few cents. Thanks!
one of my oldest, dearest blogging friends, mary frances from this is marzipan, has just had a baby girl and has the great joy of bringing a bit of estrogen into her otherwise all-testosterone world (like me, she has two boys). I’m a little jealous to be honest. unfortunately, some of the joy has a little dark cloud shadow hovering over it because the baby was born with a heart condition and her teeny tiny, beautiful heart has already met with knives and highly skilled doctors. as they say in my family, uff da. it’s more than a grown-up heart can handle.
of course, mary frances and her family are taking it in stride and with great strength and grace…an amazing feat given what they must soldier through.
for my part, I had to find a way to hug that teeny, tiny hard-working heart so I made two little kimono shirts.
the pattern is from the heather ross book weekend sewing. this kimono style wraps twice around the front, that is the hug. but, also, the fact that it is easy to open up in the front will hopefully be helpful during her recovery.
I love this simple easy pattern and there really isn’t anything more satisfying than making clothes for little babies. especially since I rarely get to create for girls.
the fabric’s are from my stash, of course. one is a soft, loose-weave japanese print and the other is a soft flannel. I’m really fond of how the japanese print decorates the chest.
my only gripe with this pattern is that it always seems to leave a little pucker and extra bulk at the armpit. I think it might be the technique: the sleeves are sewn in before the body side seams are sewn. the final stitch sews together both the bottom arm seam as well as the side of the body (essentially sewing a 90 degree angle from arm down to body) and I think it might be inevitable that this technique is not as smooth as actually inserting a sleeve properly. anyone else have this problem? the shirt is not tight so I doubt it will bother baby girl, it’s simply a sewist investigation.